Halifax baby starts breathing again after being declared legally dead

Ruth Davenport, Metro Halifax
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HALIFAX - Robin Cyr’s fourth child has already packed a lifetime’s worth of emotional turmoil into her first 28 minutes in the world.

Robin Cyr visits with her newborn baby girl in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the IWK.

Cyr, 34, was told her baby girl had died just after being born in the IWK Health Centre in Halifax around 3 a.m. Saturday.

But shortly after getting the devastating news, a stuttering, breathless nurse rushed back into the room to say the baby had started breathing again.

“My aunt was there, and it’s a blessing because her prayers are very deep and strong,” said Cyr on Sunday, speaking in a whisper through tears at the hospital. “When she started praying, my baby came back.”

The big baby girl – who weighed nine pounds 14 ounces – got wedged in the birth canal during the delivery. Once she was born, Cyr lay on the bed waiting, for 25 minutes, for any sign of life.

“My aunt looked at me and said, ‘Your baby girl’s gone,’” she said, adding the baby’s body was taken out of the room after being declared dead. “Another nurse came over, two minutes later…she couldn’t talk. She was speechless, and another nurse came over and said, ‘Your baby’s breathing.’”

A flummoxed surgeon told Cyr’s family that he had no explanation for the seemingly impossible recovery.

“He said it’s a miracle,” said Cyr. “He said, ‘I’m very sorry I gave up on your baby when I did, because I turned around and she’s breathing on her own.’”

The chubby little girl – with an impressive shock of dark hair – is now breathing on her own in the neonatal intensive care unit, and looks like any other healthy newborn baby.

Cyr’s family and friends say they’re still processing the miracle that trumped the miracle of birth.

“The way the story progresses, by the time you get halfway through, you don’t want to hear the rest, you’re like, I’m done. This is not going to end well,” said godfather Nevel Carvery. “Then to have it end the way it ended, it’s a roller coaster.”

Cyr had a name picked out for the baby, but said that will likely have to change.

“Everybody just keeps saying, Miracle, Miracle,” she said.

A review is underway to determine what, if any explanation, there may be for the baby’s apparent resurrection – but Cyr says she knows the answer.

“All I can say is, hand of God,” said Cyr. “That’s what everyone’s saying, she’s here for a reason. God brought her back for a reason.”

Organizations: IWK Health Centre

Geographic location: Halifax

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  • SL
    March 10, 2014 - 15:29

    Incredible story...so precious. MCRB - to understand why God would allow one baby to die and one to live, requires an understanding of what makes someone 'worthy. When evil entered the world through the disobedience of Adam and Eve , we were all condemned to mortality (death) because we became unworthy of the perfect presence of God. God is just. Evil requires payment. Through Jesus' death that condemnation is no more - Jesus paid the price - for those that simply choose to believe in Him, we are considered worthy of His presence. I personally choose to believe in a God who would embody love so completely that he would send His Son to die for me.

    • wayne nicholson
      March 11, 2014 - 12:21

      You are hardly worthy of a response. Adam & Eve were fictitious characters and original sin is nonsense. 18,000 children starve to death every day. According to you, 18,000 children were not worthy. Grow a brain before gibbering.

  • MCRB
    March 10, 2014 - 08:20

    Such a beautiful outcome for what surely would have been the worse tragedy ofnthis women's life. The medical reasoning behind it will be interesting to hear. And while I have a faith, I don't have one that believes in a God that would choose some babies to survive and some to die. I see why people attribute a miracle in such a way but they don't stop to think of what they are saying and the hurtfulness it causes others whose loved one has died. Truly a miracle but not one of a God who hand picks survivors as if they are more worthy over those who die. One can have faith, be thankful and love without such harsh ideas. What kind of God would that be?